Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Truth About Sociology

I’ve never considered sociology a true science.  This is not to say that sociologists do not collect and attempt to collate data with the methodology of say a physicist or a geologist, because they do, just visit any bookstore’s sociology section and you’ll find row upon row of sociology books which document the data collected on various human conditions.

The problem comes about, within the discipline of sociology, when that collected human condition data is interpreted by this sociologist or that sociologist.  One sociologist, in reviewing the data, will devise some particular hypothesis in regards the human condition, while another, in reviewing the exact same data, will devise some other hypothesis, and the reason for these different hypotheses, derived from the exact same data, is, each individual sociologist applies their own personal and individual introspection to the interpretation of the data gathered.  More importantly, from a true scientific standpoint, is the absence of replicable experimental results within the discipline of sociology.  Sociologists cannot truthfully state that one human’s documented conditions resulting in a specific action will be replicated by another human experiencing the exact same documented conditions.

So what, in truth, is the sociologist’s role in society, beyond collecting mountains of data in regards to the human condition?  Let’s allow Christian Smith, Phd, professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame inform us.

Sociologists tend to be political and cultural liberals, leftists, and progressives…

Many sociologists view higher education as the perfect gig, a way to be paid to engage in “consciousness raising” through teaching, research, and publishing—at the expense of taxpayers, donors, and tuition-paying parents,...

In other words, the truth about sociologists, is, they are nothing more than political activists, pushing certain social agendas, who buttress their hypotheses with mountains of collected human condition data upon which they cast their personal and individual introspections.

The truth about sociologists is somewhat more colorfully put by Lawrence Hyde in his book The Learned Knife - An Essay on Science and Human Values.

The growth especially of such subjects as sociology and athropology has made it possible for thousands of people to lay claim to the title of ‘scientist’ simply because they are engaged in collecting information in a systematic way.  Scientific work in these fields at present day resolves itself very largely into the amassing of quantities of ‘material,’ and the qualifications for performing this labor consists more than anything in being able to count.  The result is all sorts of individuals whose intellectual and emotional endowment is of the most commonplace order, and who in the Middle Ages would have been peacefully employed in copying manuscripts or illuminating them, are to-day collectively engaged in creating a picture of the nature of man and society.  And that picture is being built up ultimately on the basis of their crude and uneducated native sensibilities.

Christian Smith quotes obtained from a piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled An Academic Auto-da-FĂ© linked via InstaPundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/26 at 08:51 AM
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